Stories about politics.

The Wall of Honor at the Alaska Territorial Guard Park in Bethel, which David Trantham Jr. was instrumental in creating.
Ben Matheson / KYUK

Bethel City Council recognized two men whose work over the years made a positive difference in the community and the region: David Berlin and David Trantham Jr.

Courtesy of Calista Corporation

Four familiar faces will keep their seats on the Calista Board of Directors: Margaret Pohjola from Chuathbaluk, Willie Kasayulie from Akiachak, Earl D. Samuelson Sr. from Napaskiak, and Nick P. Andrew Jr. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

The City of Bethel has finished drafting an itemized budget for the $8.4 million in federal CARES Act Funding it received, which the city council still has to approve. The CARES budget includes $2 million in grants for Bethel businesses and non-profits that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greg Kim / KYUK

The coronavirus pandemic and changes in local alcohol law have lowered the expected revenue for the City of Bethel by almost $1 million. Plus, the city’s budget for policing continues to go up, even as a national movement calls for the opposite.

Greg Kim / KYUK

Friday, June 19 was supposed to be payday for City of Bethel employees, but no one received their checks. Miscommunication in the finance department resulted in the city’s employees receiving their paychecks three days late, on June 22. In response, at the regular meeting on June 23, the city council directed the administration to bring in outside help.  

City of Bethel

After opening up the potential for a by-mail election this October, the Bethel City Council is considering two other voting options at its June 23 regular meeting: early voting and electronic voting.

Willy Keppel/Christine Trudeau / KYUK

Two candidates have filed for the District 38 seat in the Alaska House of Representatives: incumbent Tiffany Zulkosky, and challenger Willy Keppel. Zulkosky, a Democrat, will be running in the primary. Keppel, from the Veteran’s Party, will need to gather signatures to appear in the general election.

Alaska Airlines passengers arriving in Bethel sign up to take voluntary coronavirus tests. April 29, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

After two individuals in Bethel were notified of positive coronavirus test results on consecutive days, the city is wondering if there are more undetected cases in Bethel. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation reports that less than 60% of passengers who arrive at Bethel’s airport are volunteering for testing. The city has plans to try to increase that number to 100%. 

Katie Basile / KYUK

On June 9, Bethel City Council took action to allow for by-mail elections, passed a budget, and made plans to use the city’s $8.4 million of CARES Act Funding.

City of Bethel

In its June 9 meeting, Bethel City Council will be preparing to spend $8.4 million in federal CARES Act funding, looking at ways to conduct an election during the COVID-19 pandemic, and considering action on next year’s budget.

The council will have to formally accept CARES Act funding in order for the city to receive the money. City Manager Vincenzo "Vinny" Corazza is proposing a partnership with Bethel Community Services Foundation to plan and execute how the $8.4 million gets spent. The money can only be used for COVID-19-related expenditures.